I have a huge gas grill in my backyard. In the spring and summer I love using my grill. But I am awful at remembering to exchange the empty propane tank. When this happens, my laziness and disappointment kick in and I change my mind and decide to just cook whatever it is on the stove or in the oven instead. Especially if I am not cooking for company. Recently, I was at IKEA and on a whim, bought a grill pan. I have no idea why I never had one before? I’m guessing probably because I have the gas grill in the backyard. Now this grill pan has become my favorite pan to use. I’m always thinking of what else can I try to grill on it? It’s usually chicken though. So I started running out of flavors to use on the chicken. Here’s a marinade I recently tried which my picky eater son actually enjoyed. (It is probably because there’s beer in the marinade. Don’t worry, he is over 21.)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons diced onions (I used red onion, but any type will work)
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 cups ale or beer (I used a bottle of 805 brand ale. If you don’t like to cook with alcoholic beverages, substitute with ginger ale.)
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (if you prefer dark meat use 6 skin-on thighs)
- In a 2 cup measuring cup, mix the first 10 ingredients together. (Olive oil through parsley.)
- Slowly add the beer to the mixture, as it will foam and bubble.
- Place your chicken in a gallon Ziploc bag.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken.
- Remove as much air out of zip bag before sealing. Turn the bag from side to side to make sure all the chicken has been coated with marinade.
- Place the bag flat on a small rimmed kitchen sheet pan and into the refrigerator. Allow to sit at least 2 hours, overnight for best results. Turn the bag every few hours to keep the chicken coated on both sides.
- Cook over medium high heat. Depending on thickness, 6-7 minutes per side.
Yes, once again I’m making chicken wings. Most the Vietnamese chicken wing recipes I’ve seen call for fish sauce. As my son and I are allergic to most things seafood, I cannot use it as it is too strong. So, believe it or not, that is why I am using Worcestershire sauce for the unami in this recipe. Thus, the reason why I call it Vietnamese “style.” These wings are sweet, sticky and a little bit spicy. Good news is this recipe is quite simple, uses only a few ingredients, no oil frying required and done in less than 45 minutes. For my vegetarian friends, maybe you can substitute fried or pan seared tofu as the sauce itself is quite tasty.
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce Kecap Manis
- 2-3 tablespoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (start with 2 tablespoons and add more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- cilantro chopped for garnish
- lime wedges (optional)
- Preheat oven to 475 F degrees.
- For easier clean up, cover a baking sheet in foil or use a silicone mat as the sauce becomes quite sticky.
- Lay out the chicken wings in a single layer in prepared baking pan.
- Season the chicken wings on both sides using salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned or cooked through.
- While the chicken wings bake, prepare the sauce.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the sweet soy sauce, chili paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to mix well.
- When the chicken is fully cooked, transfer the wings to a large bowl. Add half the sauce and, using tongs, toss to thoroughly coat. Return the wings to the lined sheet pan and arrange in a single, even layer.
- Bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Remove from the oven. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
- Optional: Serve with a lime wedge. I like how the lime juice offsets the sweetness of the soy sauce.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! This recipe is like a mash up of my Mexican Casserole and a tamale pie recipe I’ve tried in the past. And for my fellow home cooks who like quick recipes, the 35 minutes baking time is the longest you have to wait. I love shortcuts, so if you do not have all the required spices in your cupboards you can also use a packet of taco seasoning. Since there is only two of us at home to eat this, I used half the meat and only one box of the Jiffy cornbread mix and an 8×8 baking pan. Otherwise I used the same amount of all the other ingredients. For my vegetarian friends, omit the ground beef and add pinto beans.
- 2 (8.5 ounce) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend; separated into 1/2 cup and 1 cup
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can black beans (15 ounce)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced black olives
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can (10 ounce) Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
- 1 1/2 cup chunky salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Meanwhile in a large bowl, prepare Jiffy cornbread mix by combining mix, eggs and milk. Stir well then add 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese blend. Set aside. (If you like some extra spice, add a small can of diced green chilies to the cornbread mixture.)
- In a skillet add olive oil and cook ground beef over medium high heat until cooked through. Drain any grease. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are tender.
- Add remaining ingredients to the meat mixture in skillet. Mix well and remove from heat.
- In a 9X13 baking pan, add meat and vegetable mixture. Top with 1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese.
- Add prepared cornbread mixture on top of cheese layer. Be sure to spread out evenly.
- Bake in oven for 33-35 minutes or until cornbread turns golden. Enjoy with your favorite beverage.
Who needs take-out when you can make it yourself? I’m always finding myself looking at various dishes at restaurants thinking I could probably make it. And if you have been following my blog, you know I’m all about quick and easy recipes. For my vegetarian friends, just omit the beef and you should have a tasty vegetable stir fry dish.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 12 ounce sirloin or flank steak, sliced into thin strips
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking, separated into 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
- 1 pound of asparagus, sliced in an angle into thirds
- 1 small bell pepper, sliced into small strips
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster flavored sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
- In a bowl mix together marinade ingredients and add beef strips. Set aside.
- In another small bowl prepare the sauce by combining sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and the chicken stock. Mix well. Set aside.
- Heat up wok or skillet on high heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to coat wok or skillet.
- Quickly spread the beef slices around the pan in an even layer. Let it sear for 15-30 seconds without stirring. Then give it a quick stir to sear the other side. The meat should be browned and no sticking should happen if you got the pan hot enough. Take the meat out of the pan and set aside.
- Keep the wok/skillet on high heat and add one tablespoon oil.
- Add in asparagus, bell peppers, onions and minced garlic.
- Stir for about 10 seconds and add the shaoxing wine. Cover, leaving the heat on high. Let it cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the cover. Add the beef back to the pan.
- Add the sauce mixture. Stir vigorously and let the liquid bubble up.
- Stir up your cornstarch slurry to make sure the starch is dissolved and pour in about half of it. Stir for a few seconds. If the sauce is still thin, add more slurry. If it’s too thick, add a little water or stock.
- Plate with rice and serve immediately!
Okay. I admit it. I am a picky eater. You will not find green bell peppers or yellow onions in my fajitas. I love every type of bell peppers except green. I will always substitute whenever a recipe calls for green bell peppers. As for red onions, they just happen to be my favorite type of onion. I always have them on hand. Don’t get me wrong, I like yellow onions too. But I ALWAYS have red onions. So feel free to substitute your favorite colors of the rainbow for this dish. You can even omit the chicken and use sliced portabella mushrooms and add other vegetables to make a fantastic vegetarian fajita.
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons Mexican seasoning (chili powder, crushed red peppers, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and paprika)
- 1 lime, juiced
- tortillas and your favorite fajita sides for serving
- lime wedges for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Place onions, peppers and chicken in 9×13 baking pan or dish.
- Drizzle and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle Mexican seasoning over dish. Top with lime juice. Toss to coat.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway.
- Serve with tortillas and your favorite fajita sides. Add lime wedge to each plate for garnish and extra lime juice if wanted.
Makes 3-4 servings.
Taco Tuesday? It’s taco any day in my house. And when I have all the ingredients in my refrigerator, then I like to go all out and make it taco fiesta night. I like using warmed flour tortillas, but my son likes the corn tortillas. So I always have both types on hand. This recipe makes enough for 12 well packed tacos. Which tortilla type do you like to use to make your tacos?
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 cup your favorite salsa
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 red or white onion, diced
- 1 cup cilantro, diced
- 2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 lime
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Mexican Crema to garnish (you can substitute with sour cream)
- Cotija cheese to garnish
- 12 flour or corn fajita sized (or smaller) tortillas
- In a covered skillet or pot, add chicken breasts, salsa and water. Turn heat on high until liquid begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until chicken breasts become tender and shred easily. Shred chicken using two forks and set aside in a bowl.
- In another bowl, make a pico de gallo, by adding diced onions, cilantro, tomatoes and jalapenos. Then squeeze half of a lime into the pico de gallo and mix well.
- Add shredded cabbage and lettuce together in yet another bowl.
- Place Mexican blend cheese in a final bowl.
- Warm up tortillas. For the flour ones, I just wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds. For the corn tortillas, I heat up over my stove gas burners about 10 seconds per side and flip a few rotations until they bubble up a little and get char marks.
- Build your tacos. Lay down the tortilla. Add shredded chicken. Then add pico de gallo. Then some cabbage and lettuce mix. Then the Mexican blend cheese. Then drizzle some crema. And finally grate some Cotija cheese over the entire taco. Serve with refried beans and Mexican rice. Muy delicioso!
I wasn’t quite sure what to call this recipe. It’s essentially a stir fry, but because I like to make a thin gravy that the chicken braises in does that make it braised? Oh well. It tastes good and that’s what matters the most. And this recipe is perfect for those evenings you really don’t want to make anything too complicated. One pot meal, about 30 minutes from start to finish. Can’t beat that.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce (can be found in your grocery’s international food aisle)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 bag (16 ounce) frozen stir fry vegetables (or use fresh if you have on hand)
- Add olive oil to large skillet over medium high heat.
- When oil begins to ripple, add chicken breast pieces to skillet. Stir occasionally and cook for 4-6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Add minced garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add Hoisin sauce and chicken broth.
- Meanwhile add cornstarch and water into a small bowl and stir until combined to make a slurry.
- Once liquid in skillet comes to a boil add the cornstarch and water slurry to the skillet. Stir to combine. Lower heat to simmer. Cover skillet.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Raise heat back to medium high and add frozen stir fry vegetables. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are heated through.
- Serve over rice and don’t forget to add some of the gravy you just made too.